Ireland voters reject plan to dissolve upper house
AFPDUBLIN--Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny vowed to push forward with reform of the upper house of parliament after voters rejected his plan to abolish the senate to save the bailed-out eurozone nation money.
October 7, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
In a surprise blow for Kenny after he personally led the campaign to ditch the senate, voters in a referendum on Friday narrowly opted to keep the 60-member house, according to results announced late Saturday.
Final results revealed that 51.7 percent voted in favors of keeping the senate, or Seanad Eireann, while 48.3 percent wanted to scrap it. Turnout was just 39.2 percent with about 1.2 million voters.
“Sometimes in politics you get a wallop in the electoral process. I accept the verdict of the people,” Kenny told reporters outside Dublin Castle after the result was announced.
Opinion polls had suggested voters would likely back Kenny's proposal to scrap the senate, which had the support of the coalition government parties and some of the opposition.